My cat has taken to sleeping with me now that Elijah has moved into his own room. Just as the dog calls my folks to bed, Socks has started getting impatient if I’m not in bed, if not asleep then at least reading a book and scratching him behind his ears by 10:30. It’s now almost eleven and he is sulking between the office and the bedroom. Unfortunately, I had a cup of coffee not too long ago and despite the heavy spike of Irish cream, coffee winds me more tightly these days than it did back West. When the quality of coffee was much higher, I’d knock back several more cups a day. Now, I limit myself to one cup, if that (Christmas hint: If you want to send me a gift, Covabrelli Coffee’s Papua New Guinea coffee beans would be greatly appreciated- Lou can mail it). My tea intake has increased substantially thanks to a large supply of delicious teas from Upton Tea in the house and the fact that whether I ask for it or not, there’s a cup waiting for me and, because I take it black, it’s almost always exactly how I like it. As the mercury begins its slow decline, I’m thankful for this act of kindness but tea doesn’t have the effect on me that coffee does. Hence, one cup of coffee two hours ago has me staring at a computer screen instead of the inside of my eyelids.
In addition to the coffee, I’m actually working on a piece of fiction right now. I’ve found that short stories work best for me and can happily report that this is my second piece in the past month. Maybe at some point, I’ll post them here for those that are interested to read. This story is about a woman called to her Uncle’s death deathbed so that he can ask her forgiveness for the abuse he committed against her as a child. Shortly before leaving Washington, I was informed that a much older man I’d had a relationship as a teenager was in jail for possession of child pornography. Although not surprising, the news shook me quite a bit. He always tried to be good to me, I think, but I want nothing to do with him any longer because of his crime and the fact that I simply cannot have anyone with that record around for the sake and safety of my son. I’ve been putting off writing him a goodbye note (because I think he deserves that) for lack of something to say so I think this story is a way for me to work through my emotions first.
In other news from the Western frontier, my ex has been evicted from our apartment. I’m not surprised in the least. Since leaving, he has lost his job, dropped out of school, and couldn’t find a roommate in late summer/early fall in a town with a community college, state college, and private university. An eviction seemed like the natural next step. Unfortunately, because he could not find a suitable roommate, my name was still on the lease. I’m hoping that because our divorce paperwork said that we separated on August 5th and that he was going to remain in the apartment, the eviction won’t look too bad on my rental history. Heads will surely roll if I can’t afford a decent, safe apartment for my son because of Paul’s continued irresponsibility. Monday I’m going to try to get a hold of some of the renters’ rights groups in Washington to see what they suggest. I figure worst case scenario, I might have to take him to small claims court if his anger caused him to wreck the apartment on his way out because I’ll be damned if I have to pay for that. Hey, at least I’d get to see my beloved Washington again. Of course it isn’t lost on me that I could have afforded the apartment on my own. I’ve spent the past couple of days asking myself, in light of how I feel here and what’s going on there, why I didn’t even think of finding someone willing to share my apartment free of charge in exchange for watching Elijah at night. I mean, honestly, how hard would it have been to put Elijah in daycare so I could sleep during the day and find someone to basically live with us rent free as long as they were home from 9:00pm to 7:00am five nights a week? Of course finding that person would be a bit difficult and at least this way I’m in a position to, hopefully, get out of the rut I’ve been in for the past several years.
And speaking of apartments, I’ve a few requests for my upcoming nest. Care to follow me through “Ideal Home” land? Number one, my apartment must be safe for my son. This means no lead paint or pipes, no crackhead neighbors, and no gunfire in the neighborhood. Secondly, it has to be bright. I’m not talking about bright colors. I want large windows that let in lots of sun. Third- I’d love hardwood floors. Carpets are a pain in the butt. I can get a few rugs here and there but all over carpeting drives me nuts. Fourth, I want two bedrooms. If there is a one bedroom plus a den or some sort of alcove for my bed, I might consider it but these past three months have told me that Elijah and I do not share a room well. If I’m in the room, he will wake up at least once or twice a night. If we’re separated, we both sleep through the night and I sleep more soundly even with a cat crawling all over me and purring in my ear. Fifth, please, please, please let me have a deck or at least some huge south facing windows. I desperately miss my plants. Do you know what it’s like to have a kitchen without fresh herbs? In Washington, not only did I have a selection of fresh herbs, I had, at one time or another, figs, raspberries, broccoli, tea, and lemons. Here, if you want a fresh herb, you have to go to the grocery store. My place needs to have space for my plants. Sixth, a washer and dryer would be nice. If need be, I’ll take a coin operated one but, honestly people, I have a toddler boy that I expect to get dirty every day. A dishwasher, fireplace, and track lighting would be nice but are not necessary. A yard would be ideal but I’ll take walking distance to a community playground- especially if there’s a friendly single guy that regularly takes his kids there about the same time Elijah and I hit it up. Oh, and lots of counter space and pet friendly, please. I didn’t bring my cat 3000 miles to dump him at my folks’ place. Oh, and I need to be able to afford it. I’m not asking too much, am I?